Sunday, June 05, 2011

Jinxed Bhim 155mm Gun Finally On Track?

Is India's jinxed BHIM 155mm/52cal tracked self-propelled howitzer back on track? Well, the DRDO has revealed in the latest edition of its Tech Focus journal that "the system has been successfully evaluated and accepted by the user". That's huge. The hybrid foreign gun mated with the indigenous Arjun chassis has had a tough run so far.

In 2005, after Denel's T6 turret was chosen to be the weapon mated to an Arjun chassis, the South African gun maker was blacklisted by the Indian government following allegations of using influence to swing a separate deal. In 2007, I visited the DRDO's tank lab in South India just after an effort to identify a new gun for the Bhim had ended in a single-vendor situation, with only the Samsung Techwin coming forward to bid with the K9 turret. So no go. Sort of lost track of the programme since until I saw the DRDO's journal today (full specs in the PDF).

DRDO describes the Bhim as "one of the finest 155mm/52cal self-propelled howitzers, which is endowed with superior firepower, high mobility and system availability characteristics (sic)."

Will update this post with more from the Army tomorrow.


18 comments :

Cane-an said...

Interesting news indeed! How reliable is this magazine?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

It was in early 1998 (and not in 2005, as claimed), that engineering development work began on the Bhim tracked SPH, comprising Denel/LIW’s T-6 turret housing a 155mm/52-cal barrel and the hull of the Arjun Mk1 MBT. I myself took a photo of the Bhim tracked SPH during Defexpo 2000, which was the venue chosen by the DRDO to publicly reveal the Bhim for the very first time (the photo can ve viewed at: http://trishulgroup.blogspot.com/2009/10/ottavio-quattrocchis-lasting-gift-to.html)

Shiv Aroor said...

@Prasun: i reckon you've misunderstood the sentence. i meant that the deal fell through in 2005. Obviously the the Denel gun had been selected years before.

Anonymous said...

So who supplied the new turret ? Rheinmetall ? Or is it a reverse engineered T6 ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shiv Aroor: That's right mate. Thanks for clearing the misunderstanding. If I'm not mistaken, the K-9 turret was also offered atop a motorised vehicle by L & T and was shown in scale-model form at Defexpo 2008.

To Anon@11.42PM: Who says it's a new turret? The photos only depict one of the two Bhim prototypes. And what's this about a 'reverse-engineered T6"? If you're implying that the DRDO has reverse-engineered the T6 then I'm afraid you're terribly overestimating the technological competencies of a country where the industrial manufacturing sector accounts for a mere 15% of the country's GDP.

Jake Lor said...

The Indian army need the Bhim 155mm self propelled artillery gun to match PLA PLZ-05.

Indian army is also probably going bring back the Abhay ifv to counter PLA ZBD-97, ZBD-2000, ZBL-09, and ZLC-2000.

Anonymous said...

The turrent is imported (or licensed) as are 80% of the components...nonethe less its a good effort....and thos that complain...this beast has more local components that the Dhruv!

Anonymous said...

what's current status of Bhim 155mm ??
Does Indian Army Have Bhim 155mm Gun as of today ??

RK said...

Finally.

I was hoping either this gets inducted or a similar one from BAE or rheinmetall in the IA.

Anonymous said...

Good that this monster is finally out of limbo. But what happened to Abhay IFV? Has that program along with FINSAS has gone into limbo? What sort of 'futuristic' technologies are being researched or implemented? Are they comparable to Israelis?

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Shiv for this wonderful news .

Now please tell which turret is being used. indian south korean south african or any thing else

A Bhim regiment can cause a lot of damage to pakistan because its long range

Anonymous said...

which gun has been finalised ? - K9 or denel or something else

KVR said...

Looks a lot like the French GCT 155 mm SPG. You sure there is no French "consultancy" ? :))

Anonymous said...

Yes, Even I would like to know which OEM makes this turret!

Do you have more pics shiv, this gun looks wicked, hate to be at the wrong end of it.

When are the trials planned?

Anonymous said...

I know this may sound stupid but.... Can this thing be used to blow up enemy Tanks?

chaithanya said...

Any news about M777 howitzer-which is reported to be failed in feb trails???

Anonymous said...

good news. i have also heard about ARDE working on 155mm barrel. any news about it??
and what happened to FINSAS project, and many other weapons developed under the INSAS family. any further news about it??

looking forward for your post..

Anonymous said...

Hi Shiv,
Eagerly awaiting updates on BHIM SPA. Please update soon.
Regards
Abhishek